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Muscle relaxant injections

What are muscle relaxant injections?

Expression lines occur when we smile, laugh, cry, wince, grimace, scowl or frown. The delicate muscles underlying the skin contract in concert with each other producing expression lines or ‘dynamic wrinkles’ and it is these that may be treated with muscle relaxant injections.

Muscle relaxant injections works by weakening the tiny facial muscles very precisely. After treatment, the expression lines and excess movement are diminished; however normal facial expression should appear natural.

Because of the way they affect muscle, the injections can be used in many areas of the face, neck and chest. Some of these examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Frown lines between the eyebrows
  • Forehead lines
  • Crow's feet
  • Lines underneath the eyes
  • Excessive muscle roll underneath the eyes
  • Bunny or Wolf lines on the sides of the nose
  • A drooping nose
  • Gummy smile (excess show of gum above the teeth on smiling)
  • Excessive squareness of the face in association with large muscles at the angle of the jaw
  • Upper lip wrinkles
  • Downturned mouth
  • Popply chin
  • Poor jaw line definition
  • Vertical neck bands
  • Vertical lines in the chest area

What to expect during a muscle relaxant injection procedure?

This treatment is usually both simple and safe. Small amounts of the muscle relaxant are injected with a very fine needle into the treatment area. As the needle is so fine and only a small amount of liquid is used, discomfort is usually minimal. No sedation or anaesthetic is required and you may return to work or your usual activities immediately.

How long will a muscle relaxant injection procedure take?

Muscle relaxant injections are quick to deliver usually taking no more than half an hour. The results are seen gradually over the first two weeks after injection, although in some patients they may be seen earlier.

What to expect after a muscle relaxant injection procedure?

The results of the treatment are temporary, lasting approximately 3–5 months. Most people have injections 2-3 times a year on average, although the benefit in certain areas may last longer after each treatment.

Are there risks associated with muscle relaxant injections, if so what are they?

Bruising occurs in up to 30% of patients and is temporary, lasting a few days. Headaches may also occur in up to 30% of patients. They are thought to be similar to a muscle tension headache due to the brain seeking the muscle to act even though it is unable. This takes a few days to settle although occasionally longer, and is not usually severe. Simple analgesic medicines are all that is required.

Complications from cosmetic uses of muscle relaxant injections are rare. They include eyebrow ptosis or eyebrow drooping. This is thought to be due to injection of the muscles close to the arch of the eyebrow. For this reason care must be taken when injecting in this area. The drooping is short term if it occurs. Eyelid drooping or ptosis is also possible and may be due to inadvertent injection of the muscle that opens the eyelid when the frown line is being injected. The exact injection causing this complication, at present, remains uncertain. Again it is a short-term complication.

Muscle relaxant injections do carry a FDA “Black Box” warning in the US, this has not been enacted or required to be placed as warnings with this agent in other countries.


Contact our reception staff to make an appointment by email or telephone (03) 9826 4966 to find out whether this is an appropriate treatment for your skin.

The treatment information contained on this site is of a general nature only. Please make an appointment to find out which treatment will be the most successful for your individual concern